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in colorado, the initial appearance is not the arraignment, but an advisement of bond return hearing. and at that time, the defendant is told what his rights are. and if charges have been filed. what those charges are. thereafter, there's a preliminary hearing similar to california. and then the arraignment happens after the preliminary hearing. and ultimately a trial by jury. that's the process in colorado, as i understand it. again, the family wants to reiterate that the hearts go out to the victims and their families. the holmes family would like to maintain their privacy so at this time we will not be discussing james or his relationship to the family. and we would respect courtesy in
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that regard. so thank you very much for your tim time. >> i don't think he was able to, no. they're doing as well as they can under the circumstances. you know, we haven't been looking at all of the news reports, so i really can't comment on that. that, i can't comment on that, either. criminal defense attorneys understand the system a lot better than civil attorneys. [ inaudible question ] >> i'm sorry. [ inaudible question ]
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>> throughout the process. throughout. all through the weekend when i was getting calls and also after i saw his appearance. >> i really can't comment on that. [ inaudible website ] [ inaudible question ] >> i have no comment on that. i have no comment on their whereabouts. i don't think they would like the media to know where they are. i think arlene holmes statement clarifies that a bit as to how
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they reacted. i think everyone can imagine how they're feeling. anyone who has ever been a parent. [ inaudible question ] >> not at this time. >> right. because that's not what she said. and that was the interpretation. somehow, oh, i'm not surprised. and that's not what she was saying.
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[ inaudible question ] >> i'm not going to comment on that. i represent them. [ inaudible question ] >> well, i was referred to them by another lawyer. or they were referred to me by another lawyer. >> as well as anyone could under the circumstances. [ inaudible question ] >> well, that's her statement. she felt it was very important for everyone to understand the sequence of events, and what he said, what she said, and not miss construe the situation. what are some of the other statements made? have they absorbed those? >> you know, we really haven't
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been keeping track of everyone statements. [ inaudible question ] >> well, no -- nobody from the aurora police department has attempted to contact us for any purpose. so presently nobody is asking for assistance. additionally, at that time, there were other authorities here locally who we were talking to. [ inaudible question ] >> i didn't see the box. so i don't know.
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[ inaudible question ] >> i don't understand the question. i'm a lawyer. objection, vague. do i know the prosecutor? not personally, no. >> you've done work in colorado? >> i've done work in colorado, but in the federal system. [ inaudible question ] >> we've been told that's highly likely that that's going to happen. >> how concerned are you? >> everyone is concerned. [ inaudible statement ] >> well, nobody told me that. from what i know about the laws in colorado. it is a death penalty state. obviously it's going to be
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murder one. and that's when someone can be facing the death penalty. i actually am in communication with them as well. >> i have concern for their safety. [ inaudible question ] >> we vice presidehaven't reallt far because at this time no formal charges have been filed. [ inaudible question ] >> i really can't comment on that. not very closely.
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>> you said you were concerned for their safety. i have experiences with cases that have this much attention. through my experience in the past, that's what causes me conce concern. [ inaudible statement ] >> i don't know what specific statements you're referring to. however, i also can't -- i'm not going to comment as to what the family's experience has been with james. >> sorry. >> that's okay. >> what was your answer? >> to what?
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>> maybe step back. >> no, no, no! >> okay. [ inaudible question ] >> thank you for refreshing my memory on that question. i was saying, i'm not sure what specific comments you're referring to. we've not been keeping up with everybody's statements, so i can't comment on those. and the family has elected not to discuss james or a relationship with james at this time. we want to know more about what happened.
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>> as i said, at this point in time, the investigation is continuing. so whether or not it's premeditation or it's not premeditation is left to the court system. i don't know what everybody has been saying and what interviews have been going on with the investigation. so i think it's premature to make any comments about that when the investigation is still continuin continuing. >> i can't comment about the relationship between james and his family at this time. i don't believe she said that in her statement that i read. i read the statement. if you like, i could read it again. but i'm not going to comment
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about how she was feeling at the time. >> is the family concerned they may become targeted by the public. >> you know, i haven't discuss that had with them, so i can't comment on that. [ inaudible question ] >> yes, they do. he's their son. yeah. i really can't say anymore. [ inaudible question ] >> can you repeat the statement again? [ inaudible question ] >> i can't comment on that.
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james is being held there. oh, i'm not going to comment on the whereabouts of the family. >> i'm not going to comment about that. >> can you comment about his family's reaction to seeing him in court today? his appearance, his demeanor? what was their sentiment after they saw him? >> at some point in time we may be able to discuss that. at this time the family would like their privacy respected and don't want to talk about that. the statement is to clarify a statement made by abc media. i was awakened by a call from a
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reporter by abc on july 20th at 5:45 a.m. i did not know anything about a shooting in aurora at that time. he asked if i was arlene holmes and if my son was james holmes, who lived in aurora, colorado. i answered, yes, you have the right person. i was referring to myself. i asked him to tell me why he was calling, and he me about a shooting in aurora. he asked for a comment. i told him i could not comment because i did not know if the person he was talking about was my son. and i would need to find out. thanks very much. i will be available if anyone has further questions. that's pretty much all i can comment on at the present time. >> [ inaudible question ] >> i'm sorry? [ inaudible ]
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>> yes, i've been asked to speak on behalf of the holmes family. i do not represent james holmes. it was someone through their church. i really can't comment on that. yes, yes. i can't comment on that. but the pastor there, i spoke with the pastor there. and it's amazing how much support they are getting from their church. it's a very good -- it's a very good thing, i think. no, i'm not going to comment on that now. at this point in time, they
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really want their privacy respected. that may change. but at this moment and at that time, they don't really want to talk about that. okay? thank you, everybody. >> so there you have it. lisa is a lawyer in california. she's been practicing 20 years. she now represents the family of james holmes, the accused killer, in aurora, colorado, the 24-year-old student. former student. he dropped out of a ph.d. program at the university of colorado. is now accused of going into that movie theater friday night and killing 12 people. wounding 58 others, shooting 70 people in total. the largest mass shooting in u.s. history. she came out to speak to reporters the clarify a very important point. a point involving james holmes' mother, arlene holmes. there you see james holmes with
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the died red hair in kour. she wanted to make it clear that when someone from abc newsed called on friday to ask about james holmes. she uttered the words, you have the right person, she was referring to the fact -- tht arlene holmes, the mother, the abc person was speaking to the mother of james holmes. she was not implying. not suggesting in any way anything was wrong with james holmes. that, in fact, she knew james holmes was involved in this incident at all, and the attorney is now wanting to make it clear that the mother had no idea what was going on in colorado. had no idea that her son was involved in anything along these lines. we're here in "the situation room." i'm wolf blitzer. we'll go to the scene. e lavendera is in aurora. there are important developments happening in the case. stay with us. you're in "the situation room."
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with humira, remission is possible. today's first court appearance by the suspects in a colorado shooting raised more questions than it answered. james holmes appeared daze, grimacing, blinking his eyes, paying no attention to what was going on around him. ed lavendera is joining us from outside the courtroom right now. what are officials saying about the suspect's rather bizarre appearance during that courtroom event today, ed? >> well, prosecutors aren't saying much about it. we have calls into the sheriff's department here in aurora to find out if he was under any other medication. we have not heard back. the image we saw of james holmes is very different than the
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images we saw in the couple of days leading up to today. james holmes didn't say a word during his first court appearance in colorado. we're left trying to read body language, looking for clues, signs of emotion, remorse, satisfaction, anything. >> you have the right to remain silence. >> in just moments it was wasn't the shaggy orange hair with the red on top, it was the range of bewildering facial expression that captured everyone's attention. at times it seemed like james holmes struggled to keep his eyes open as the judge ordered him to have no contact with the shooting victims or the families, it wasn't clear that holmes was processing the words. staring blankly at something in front of him. holmes face would then turn to looking confused. then his eyes would open wide, freeze briefly, and his head would just drop down. next week they'll begin detailing the criminal charges against holmes. prosecutors say the death penalty is a very real
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possibility. >> there's so much victims will have to take into account. they will be impacted in an enormous way for years, if the death penalty is sought. that's a very prong process that impacts their lives for years. and so they will want to have, and we will want to get their input before we make any decision on that. after the short court appeara e appearance, james left in shackles, seemingly a bigger enigma to everyone, trying to understand the mind of the suspected mass killer. and wolf, just to reiterate, we're trying to recap with officials in the county jail where james holmes is being held in solitary confinement to find out if there were any medical reasons or precipitation medications that would explain the very sedated looking behavior that we saw here today. and interestingly enough, since james holmes was taken into custody in the early morning hours of friday morning, that authorities here in aurora had
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refused, essentially, to release his mug shot. a great deal of sensitivity to the families and obviously today was the very first day that the victims' families got to see what james holmes looks like today. wolf? >> so, ed, just to be precise, law enforcement is not saying whether or not he's on any medications that may have contributed to the dazed look that we saw? >> we have calls in to find out if that's the case. whether or not they'll answer the question is unclear. there's patient privacy issues there. so it doesn't seem they would be inclined to have to explain it in any kind of way. doing our jobs and try to explain if there's any kind of other explanation that may explain the behavior we've seen. especially since there's been so many reports that suggest that he's been acting very erratically inside the jail. so it seems like two very different pictures for what we've seen. and we only have a ten-minute
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window to gauge what we can from seeing him up close. >> up next, we're with the victims as the suspect, james holmes, appeared in court. we're going to take you back live to aurora for their reaction.
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certainly so many of us were disturbed by today's television pictures of james holmes. his appearance was an absolute shock for survivors of the attack and victims' relatives who were in the courtroom. cnn's kyung lah spoke with them
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today. >> reporter: now the hair is getting a lot of tangs. that's the thing that first struck them. what one survivor told us is something he will not forget now is the expression on this man's face. >> you're going to get a close-up shot of the 24-year-old shooting spree suspect. >> the first look for corbin. he sat in the second row as the shooting began, coming within feet of the mass killer. >> you finally take off the mask. and you see who this person really is, it's like a shock. >> can you reconcile this image with the man inside the theater? >> i did not expect that at all. it was shocking. first thing, he was covered in black. the visual coming into my mind was somebody who was -- i would say somebody very buff. somebody who works out. somebody who probably has a
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history of knowing weapons inside and out. >> james holmes hair grabbed attention for most people. but dade couldn't get past the expression on his face. >> he had no right to come into court looking like he has a sad face. >> do you think the hair and the face, this is all part of an act? >> it's an act. >> across aurora, the community turned to their televisions to see the alleged gunman's face. others like dave sanchez came to the courthouse. he's the father-in-law of victim kayla medley, who is in criminal condition. >> what's the appropriate punishment for this guy? >> death. >> with the crime scene in the background, corbin says he's trying to work on forgiving him. what are you trying to pull with
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the face? who are you trying to fool? >> there was a lot of confusion over the expression. this is all part of a calculated dance. that's what he believes right now. he's hoping the full force of u.s. justice will be falling on the defendant, wolf. >> i can only imagine. a very, very sensitive time to be out there on the presidential campaign trail. how can president obama and mitt romney keep up the attacks after such a huge national tragedy? we're going to discuss that. a historic punishment for penn state university. what it could mean for college sports. you can use opentable to make restaurant reservations. during the golden opportunity sales event, get great values on some of our newest models. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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lots of important developments happening today in the aurora shooting incident. we finally saw james holmes. he makes his appearance in court. we also just heard a statement, an attorney representing arlene holmes, his mother in san diego, just heard a statement refuting the initial interpretation of what abc news was reporting when they contacted her immediately after the shooting. 're going to get back to all of that as well. there's huge political fallout from what's been going on in aurora, colorado. joining us is the democratic strategist james carville. and foreign policy adviser to
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mitt romney's campaign. how long will it take, james, in your opinion torks get back to the nasty politicking after a huge nshl tragedy like this? shouldn't there be a decent interval between the candidates? cool it? >> yeah, there's going to be some. it will probably be a little bit long in colorado, as well as the rest of the country. but unfortunately, you know, this is not the first time something like this has happened. it's really, really tragic. it's better to get in two days too late than two days too early. i hat to put an omen on it. we're probably not close just yet. >> so you think they'll be relatively restrained over the next few days. >> i think so. you would rather be too late getting in it than too early. i think the image of this guy on tv, couldn't stop to think of
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the poor people who were suffering in colorado. friends and parntds and families. take a look. i think it's still pretty raw. >> yeah, this is the largest mass shooting in american history. more people were shot. senator, i assume you agree with james on this. >> wolf, i was reading stories about boyfriends falling themselves on top of girlfriends and sacrificing their lives. young kids trying to protect the 6-year-olds. in minnesota when i ran for the senate in 2002. stone b and his wife, his daughter. killed in a plane crash ten days before the election. in minnesota, we helped the families bury their loved ones and didn't get to campaign until a few days before the election. you need to do that. particularly as james said in colorado, they got to get a changs to grieve. the nation is grieving. they said, i don't expect any
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heated political activity in colorado for a while. let the families bury their loved ones. so there's going to be a longer period of mourning going on, as there should be, wolf. >> should the president heed the advice of the new york city mayor and start talking about serious gun control? even in the midst of the political campaign, with all of the political fallout that could generate pros and cons. >> like it or not, the reality of american politics is the nra has a very dominating presence in washington and somewhat around the country. >> why is that, james? i can understand on the republican side. what about on the democratic side? the president, why is he reluctant to talk about this? >>. >> well, he's always been
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reluctant. maybe he's not much of a gun control type guy. maybe in places like ohio, pennsylvania, virginia. some extent maybe even colorado. this issue is not a decided issue. i think the people that advocate gun control have not been as effective as the people who fight the laws. it tends to play out in elections. that's the reality of american politics. that's the way it is. seeing it right now. a ban on assault weapons. that was in massachusetts. now he's running for president of the united states. >> this is not about the nra's power. the voters don't believe it's effective.
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a year ago there was a massacre in norway. norway has the toughest gun control laws in the world. it doesn't work. it doesn't help. at some point they contribute to a discussion about gun control. but the result, i think is going to be the toughest gun laws in the world don't make us safer from madmen, from evil people. that's the reality. both a political reality as a practical reality. >> i want you to look at this. law enforcement in aurora, colorado, have snnow released t mug shot. there it is, the mug shot of james holmes, shortly after he was arrested for the massacre at the movie stheeter friday night -- early friday morning, i should say, after midnight thursday night. and i want your quick reaction. look at that picture, james, and what does that say to you? >> the feeling i saw on tv, i saw the four people, the angst they must be going through.
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this guy i don't have any sort of sense, i think of one of my children or my friends or anybody like that. all i can think of is the pain that must be going through the people and their hearts and their minds. it's just awful. obviously a very -- you know, wolf, there's something very wrong here. he's one person. think of all the thousands and tens of thousands of people that have the personal angst out here. it's just awful. >> he colored his hair red. he told police he was the joker, the villain in the batman films. senator, what goes through your mind? >> i totally agree with james. i don't think one thing about this. i'm not thinking about him at all. i'm thinking about the pain, the suffering, the angst that families are going through, those who lost loved ones, those worried about losing loved ones.
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i don't want to see the face. they're not thinking about this monster. >> all right, guys. thanks so much to both of you for coming in. we're going to be taking you inside the courtroom in colorado. jim spellman with inside room. we're going to talk to him in the next hour. he's going to tell us what was actually going on behind the scenes. what you didn't see on tv. also, it keeps getting worse for penn state university. we have new details on the unprecedented punishment handed down by the ncaa. ask me what it's like when my tempur-pedic moves.
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no matter what we do here today, there is no action we can take to remove their pain and anguish. but what we can do is impose sanctions that both reflect the magnitude of the terrible acts, and that also ensure that penn state will rebuild an athletic culture that went horribly awry. >> the ncaa is calling it, quote, a wake-up call. an unprecedented punishment is
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handed down to penn state's university football program. it's all part of the continued fallout from the child sex abuse scandal involving the former assistant football coach, jerry sandusky. the university will be fined $60 million over five years. money that will be used to fund programs serving victims of child sex abuse. the team is banned from playing in the lucrative post season bowl games for four years. and the winningest coach will be stripped of all of his winds after 1998. that puts long time coach joe paterno down from number one to number 12 on the wins lose. mark, put this into perspective for us. i'm saying it's unprecedented. but give us your sense. >> well, that was the one word,
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wolf, that we herd used so many times here at ncaa headquarters. the word, unprecedented. he used them a number of times when he met them this morning. but it's also unprecedented how quickly the ncaa acted in this case. he was given powers to penalize penn state without dew process of a hearing. >> so what's the direct message they're trying to send by these steps? these punitive steps? >>. >> well the ncaa president said the statement is of this case but the ncaa is sending a loud and clear message to the university that the message that the president and the
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chancellors are in charge and not necessarily the athletic brek tors and the football coaches. they said every one needs a gut check after what was able to happen at penn state, wolf. >> in your sense, how will these sanctions impact college football in general? >> i think it will force universities to assess their priorities. where does major college football and major college sports actually stand in the pecking order? it certainly appears this case and the sanctions they have imposed will power the company. it was, quote, an unprecedented, painful chapter in the history of the intercollegiate athletics. important news if you purchased ground beef recently. a company recalls 30,000 pounds of beef for fears of salmonella
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contamination. we're tell you what store is selling it. standby. dozens die in iraq. car bombs and roadside bombs go all all across the country. plus, much more in what's going on in aurora, colorado, in the aftermath of the shooting. for your attention. so we invented a warning you can feel. introducing the all-new cadillac xts. available with a patented safety alert seat. when there's danger you might not see, you're warned by a pulse in the seat. it's technology you won't find in a mercedes e-class. the all-new cadillac xts has arrived, and it's bringing the future forward.
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a very deadly day in iraq. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other stories in "the situation room" right now. lisa, what's going on? wolf, iraqi officials say at least 80 people were killed in attacks across the country. the deadliest bomb at a
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residential complex north of baghdad where 32 people were killed. and a texas state trooper is calling it one of the worst fatalities involving a vehicle he has ever seen. a ford pickup truck packed with two dozen people in the cab and bed slams into two large trees on the side of the highway, killing sp 13 people and injuring ten others. there was no evidence of alcohol at the the scene and no other vehicles were involved. and a tough day at wall street. worries that spain may need a full-blown bailout to spark the global selloff. they report them contracted in the second economy. the eurozone's fourth largest economy could be in recession for quite some time. and a company is recalling 30,000 pounds of ground beef
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because of a possible salmonella contamination. investigators have five counts of salmonella tied to the beef. last year they recalled 36 pounds of grown turkey due to salmonella. so some concerns there. thank you, lisa, a space exodus offered to the. it comes as fierce clashes erupt in two major cities. cnn is inside syria with a first-hand look. standby. and where did the accused colorado killer get all the money, thousands and thousands of dollars to buy all the guns? the rifles, the ammunition? we're digging into his finances coming up in the next hour. and who doesn't want 50% more cash? ugh, the baby. huh! and then the baby bear said, "i want 50% more cash in my bed!"
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and you're in "the situation room." happening now, a chilling first look at the face of an alleged mask murder. just ahead, we break down james holmes' bizarre courtroom appearance and what may have led to the shocking moments. plus, how could a budding neuroscientist allegedly afford thousands and thousands of dollars in weapons? we're taking a closer look at the fninances. and the ncaa deals an unprecedented blow to penn state university. now the president is answering. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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the images are chilling. the hair, dyed mixed shades of red. big eyes that sometimes didn't blink, other times seemed barely able to stay open. the bizarre scene is our first glimpse of the alleged colorado movie theater killer james holmes in court for the first time today. >> we have a preliminary determination of probable cause to agree to the defense of first-degree murder, a class 1 felon under colorado law. ordinarily individuals are entitled to bail. given the nature of the charges, you are currently being held on a no bond hold. you also have the right to a jury trial and preliminary hearing to determine whether it's probable cause to believe that you're the person that committed the offense. and jim spellman is joining us from the scene. jim, you were inside the
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courtroom. give us a little flavor. what was it like inside when you saw james holmes walk in? >> there was a lot of anticipation. the first question is, will he have the red hair? all the witnesses we talked to saw him with a helmet and a gas mask. when we first saw the red hair, that answered the first question. i was taken by his demeanor. he was slumped over, sort of. he was, of course, shackled at the wrist and the ankles. he just looked small and lost the entire time. i never saw him make any eye contact with any of the family members in there. he basically looked straight ahead with a dazed look on his fa face. >> to me in the close-ups, he looked drugged or tired. i couldn't tell. but you were closer. what did it look like to you? >> i agree. it was hard to tell if he was exhausted or dazed or what. it certainly to me didn't match
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the expression that you would maybe associate with someone who had recently done, you know, allegedly such a huge crime. i've seen other people who have done heinous crimes. the d.c. sniper, he always had a real swagger about himself in the courtroom. you know, with this it just looked like such a lost, kind of quiet, small, meek person. it was hard to put that face with the crimes he's alleged to have done. >> i can only imagine the security surrounding his appearance in the courtroom. how tight was it? >> there were sheriff deputies on the rooftops of the building. he was take tennessee through an underground tunnel directly into court. he had two deputies with him the whole time. another five deputies in the courtroom. us in the press had to go through two layers of metal detectors and security. they kept a tight list. they only let in media, court personnel and a small group of victims' families, wolf.
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>> we know he's in jail. what do we know about the condition he has? >> well, we know he's under solitary confinement, and he's not be cooperating with the police at all. they didn't file charges yet. the court gave them another week to do that. partly because he's not cooperating. it wasn't until saturday night they were able to get into his apartment, get his computer and check out everything else in there that they'll need to build a case. when they do file charges, wolf, there's a good chance they may add charges to it down the line. it will be years, potentially, before this trial has been conducte conducted. >> and the next appearance, as you say, will be next monday, a week from today, right? >> that's right. >> jim spellman on the scene. we'll check back with you. let's talk more about james holmes, his appearance in court and what his state of mind might be. lisa, thanks very much for
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coming in. i'm going to show you a picture of the james holmes, and our viewers will see it right there. there's a mug shot of him shortly after he was arrested. you see the eyes wide open there. what, if anything, does that tell you? the fact that he dyed his hair multiple shades of reds? >> as an isolated issue, not much. if you take nit the context of his statement that he's the joker, and we know that the joker in some it rations, at least, had red hair. it suggests he's identifying the joker, which suggests the larger theme. >> which is what? >> the larger theme in the whole batman spectacle that the joker is the one who defeats the hero. he's the super intelligent person. only he can overcome the hero so he becomes the victor. >> forget fesht about this case. what makes someone who is obviously intelligent, graduated with high honors for the
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university of colorado riverside and neuroscience, what makes someone potentially think of themselves as being the joker and out to do whatever he was doing? >> well, here's what happens. we have to understand the brain is a complex place. and while you may be smart about science, you may not have a moral final or judgment intact. and over time, if that begins to erode further, you bring in themes to capture the glory. you can see that his need to be at the top of his game, to be the smartest one, to undo the hero, batman, this is the sort of presentation of his thinking. >> abc news broadcast some video of him a few years back at a science camp. i'm going to show the video. and i think we have some of that right now. we don't it, unfortunately. we don't have it. but it shows him at an earlier
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stage, only a few years ago in his life, seeming relatively normal. >> well, when you look to assess a person like this, there's no doubt that you will find clips to make him look crazy. and there will be clips that make him look normal. what you have to do is especially look at the time of the crime. how was he then? he may have had a preoccupation with the things, but they never evolved into this place. what's critical is what was going on in his head. >> some have described him a a pshotic person. what's the difference? >> it's the line essentially between madness and badness. madness, of course, being psychotic. out of touch with reality. badness is, of course, the pathological personality that's a criminal.
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the setup here is the attempt is to determine whether or not he's going to be charged for criminal behavior, or whether they're setting things up to present an insanity defense. >> so forget about years, but the months leading up to this. were there signs that friends, relatives, acquaintances should have known? or is this suddenly a trigger and you go out and engage in an incident like this? >> well, it sounds that he did not give much to go on. other people will be writing stuff and posting stuff. but for him the fact that he was kind of awkward socially, not doing well, those are soft signs, which in retrospect you put in the context and say, oh, boy, there were signs. but it doesn't sound like signs the ordinary person would pick up on. what we would pick up on is a guy who seems strange and got 7,000 rounds of ammunition and
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looking for an assault rival. that's what makes him stand out. but we weren't pref vi to that. >> it could have been averted, this type of action. >> of course. >> thank you very much for coming on. appreciate it. just moments we heard from the attorney representing the family of james holmes. and in the moments after the shooting, his mother gave a comment to abc news, which seemed to suggest that the son was the culprit. she apparently wanted to clarify the remarks. here is her attorney. >> the reason we're here is the media is attributing certain statements to arlene holmes and taking her comments out of context. i would like to take the time to read a statement from arlene holm holmes, clarifying what transpired in the early morning, friday morning, when she got a
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phone call from an abc reporter. and this is her statement. this statement is to clarify a statement made by abc media. i was awakened by a call from a reporter from abc on july 20th about 5:45 in the morning. i did not know anything about a shooting in aurora at that time. he asked if i was arlene holmes, and if my son was james holmes. who lives in aurora, colorado. i answered yes, i have the right person. i was referring to myself. i asked him to tell me why he was calling and he told me about a shooting in aurora. he asked for a comment. i told him i could not comment because i did not know if the
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person he was talking about was my son. and i would need to find out. >> we've reached out to abc news regarding their initial reporting. we're waiting to get their reaction from the lawyer representing arlene holmes, the mother of james holmes. we'll update you on that. also much more coming up this hour, including in the next 6:00 p.m. eastern hour on the latest development in aurora, colorado. there's other news including penn state university president responding to the ncaa's unprecedented punishment. what he's now saying right here in "the situation room" about the university's shocking $60 million fine. and cnn's ivan watson makes it inside syria. his close-up look at a ghost town where one road is nicknamed the street of death.
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ya, no. he's over here. >>in the refrigerator? playing sports is just my whole life. looking back if it wasn't for shriners hospital, things would just be really different. i lost my leg when i was a kid. shriners turned my whole life around. send your love to the rescue. donate today. jack cafferty is here with the cafferty file.
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jack? the massacre at a colorado movie theater has shaken this nation to its foundation, but it's highly unlikely it will shake up the presidential race. both president obama and mitt romney have been relatively silent when it comes to the issue of gun control. the white house says the president doesn't have plans to push for any new gun laws, but that he wants to, quote, take steps to keep guns out of the hands of people who have him under the existing law. wow, that's bold. as for romney, he signed a weapons ban when he was governor of massachusetts. now he says he's against gun control. romney recently told the national rifle association the country needs a president, quote, who will enforce current laws, not create new ones that only serve to burden lawful gun owners, unquote. the nra has an estimated 4 million members. neither candidate wants to alienate those people. and polls show that support for gun control is plummeting in
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recent years. some democrats think gun control is the reason al gore lost in 2000. there are close to 300 million guns in this country. we are far and away the most heavily armed country in the world. it's unlikely legal gun owners will part with the firearms without a struggle. colorado police say the alleged shooter bought his guns legally at stores in the denver area. and some on both sides of the ail agree even the tightest gun control laws may not keep weapons out of the hands of a crazy person that wants them. in light of the colorado shootings, what kind of role should gun control play in the presidential campaign? go to cnn.com/caffertyfile and post a comment on my blog, or go to our post on "the situation room's" facebook page. wolf. >> jack, thanks very much. this is cnn breaking news. the american astronaut sally
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ride unfortunately has passed away. lisa sylvester is working the story for us. lisa, we just got word into "the situation room" moments ago of very sad news. >> this is just coming in. sally ride was the first american woman to fly in space. the his poric flight was in 1983 aboard the space shuttle challenger. she later served on the board that investigated the 1986 explosion. sally ride died after a 17-month battle with pan krcreatic cance. she's survived by her partner. >> amazing. and just doing the math. what was she? 61, 62 years old? >> she was born in 1951. >> yeah, she was 62 years old. >> right. and it's really sad. she was also known as a science
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writer. and she was the president and ceo of sally ride science. so she was really bringing, you know, everybody is talking about her spirit. that she is somebody who was passionate and intelligent and fearless. i know she was a role model to many women. it's really truly a sad loss. she died peacefully. that will give some comfort to her loved ones, wolf. >> she had a doctorate and degree in physics, and she was obviously a great astronaut at the same time, an amazing, amazing woman. sally ride has passed away. we're told she passed away from pancreatic cancer. >> it was a 17-month battle. something else that's really interesting about her, and people may not know this is doctor ride wrote five science books for children. so she was clearly leaving behind this legacy. and it's neat to see a great
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career over the last few decades. and so she leaves behind a true legacy. with no end in sight to the violence in syria, an officer is made. we're taking a closer look at bashar al-assad's options. hajimemashite. hajimemashite. hajimemashite. you guys like football ? thank you so much. i'm stoked. you stoked ? totally. ... and he says, "under the mattress." souse le matelas. ( laughter ) why's the new guy sending me emails from paris ? paris, france ? verizon's 4g lte devices are global-ready. plus, global data for just $25. only from verizon. an accident doesn't have to slow you down. with better car replacement, if your car is totaled,
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s. penn state university is now responding at the highest ranks to what the ncaa has warned is a stark wake-up call to everyone involved in college sports. the organization slammed the institution with an
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unprecedented $60 million fine for the notorious child sex abuse scandal and forever reversed joe paterno's legacy as the winningest coach in college football. susan candiotti is joining us now with more on what happened today. it was stunning, susan, but update our viewers. >> certainly was, wolf. and one of the other sanctions imposed described as unprecedented they will lose 40% of scholarships over the next four years. that's a major slam they're going to take in terms of recruiting players. the situation so bad, so egregious, that the ncaa says this is serving as a wake-up call to sports programs in every college in the united states. today i spoke with the president of penn state university, rodney erickson. i asked him what he was going to do, how the school will survive,
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and he said that he had no choice but to accept the sanctions. >> penn state is a very resilient university. and i'm always struck by the sense of resolve that people have here when confronted with a situation like this. they roll up their sleeves and they go at it. whether it's a football team and coach bill o'brien, or whether it's the students, and friends and donors of penn state. you will see many of them step up. we have an incredible gruf of faculty, staff, students and alumni of penn state. i couldn't be more proud of them. they're simply world class. they will really help us focus and move ahead now.
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>> and as we said, penn state is also losing 40% of the scholarships. how in the world will be school be able to recruit athletes to come here? it may take decades for them to get over this. i talked about that with the school's athletic director, david joyner. >> this certainly is a challenge. we've been placed in an unprecedented situation. cole bill o'brien is a person that's firmly committed to this university, this program, and his football players, and there have been some comments made today by a couple of football players. one said out of the hottest fire comes the strongest steel. that's the kind of attitude and players that want to come here. they're going to want a challenge to go forward and rebuild a program from where it's starting right now. >> en, wolf, remember the famous statue of joe paterno was taken down early sunday morning. president erickson he had no
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choice but to do that, too. it had to go. it was standing as a monument to, as he put it, victims of child abuse. and one other headline he made. he said that heads will roll. employees here at penn state university because of the role they played as a result of the investigation. once state prosecutors began investigating the jerry sandusky scandal. now, of course, he said the school is resilient. but the fact of the matter is, wolf, it could take decades for penn state to get back to where it once was. >> what an amazing situation. thanks so much for that. susan candiotti on the scene for us. how could a budding neuroscientist allegedly afford thousands and thousands of dollars to purchase weapons? we're taking a closer look at where he may have received the money. and the battle may be over, but the damage is lasting. ivan watson is inside a
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looking back if it wasn't for shriners hospital, things would just be really, really different. i lost my leg when i was a kid. there was a time when i felt like i wasn't going to be able to walk again... it was a pretty bad accident but shriners showed me who i could be again. they turned my whole life around. hunter's life is one of nearly a million changed by donations from people like you. send your love to the rescue. donate today. we're beginning to learn more about james holmes' finances. specifically the thousands of dollars for a grant he earned for research. lisa sylvester is here working this part of the story for us. >> there seems to be two james holmes. the man accused of doing this heinous crime and the diligent
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student. he was considered to have so much potential at a young scientist that he received a federal nih grant that paid him thousands of dollars over the last several months. james holmes appeared in court with shockingly red-orange hair. but it's a far cry from his image as a budding neuroscientist. until last friday holmes was known as an outstanding student enrolled in a ph.d. program at the university of colorado. he received a 26,000 dplrz research grant by the national institute of health, funded by taxpayer money. that worked out to a monthly check of about $2,166. while receiving that grant funding, he also received a high volume of expensive deliveries to his home and work. this receipt dated july 12nd showed he purchased a tactical assault vest, m-16 magazine pouch and knife for $306.
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police say he amassed an arsenal of explosives and weapons like these. >> the weapons are as follows. they are an assault rifle, a 12-gauge shotgun and a 40 caliber glock handgun. >> this is a sharp contrast to the studious holmes who excelled at science. only six students at the university of colorado, including holmes were chosen to work on the nih program. the project leader is listed as university of colorado professor. we contacted him, but he declined to comment. as a high schooler, holmes was chose to participate in a prestigious scholars program. one fellow student spoke to a cnn affiliate but did not want to be identified. >> he was a very quiet person. he didn't talk too much. all of us were really excited to be there. we were very friendly and
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talking about college plans. he never wanted to associate with us. >> james holmes withdrew from the ph.d. program last month. we tried to find out why and also find out more information about the exact type of research holmes was conducting, but the university did not return our calls. >> i guess we'll get more information the days and weeks to come. >> for now it's hard to find information about the university program. there are reports they pulled out on the website now. that's the focus that investigators are looking at, the research that he was doing. it seems clear they instructed the professors and students not to talk to the media as they move forward with the investigation. >> thank you very much. lisa sylvester reporting. a very blunt assessment of tensions with iran. what israel's president has to say about the bloody attack in bulgaria. including the gs and is.
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israel's president has sharp words for why he believes iran is targeting his country. he spoke exclusively with our foreign affairs reporter. >> reporter: wolf, from the possibility of collapse to more possible attacks comes from iran, the israeli president told me they will not shy away from acting preemptively to keep israel safe. it's the biggest fear about the crisis facing on the northern border. syria's chemical weapons fall boog the hands of hezbollah, or turned on israel by a last stance by a weaken eed bashar al-assad.
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you don't have the right of producing this. you don't have the right to use them. you fight against it. you stop them. >> how far are you prepared to go? >> until it will stop being a danger. >> he called the violence against his own people revolting. but he says israel wants to part in the effort. >> what will happen if syrian refugees try to cross the israeli border. will you help them? >> no. >> will you shoot them? >> i mean, you don't go straight to the rifle. it would be double tragedy for them and for us. they will become homeless. and defenseless. >> if syrians start to come over
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the border, will you stop them by force? >> until now, none of them asked to come in. if they come in with force, we will stop them with force. >> we're not talking about a military invasion. we're talking about syrian who is are trying to escape bloodshed in their own country. >> if they want to escape they will have to ask for permission. none of them did it. >> israel wasted no time blaming iran for last week's bombing of a tour bus in bulgaria. which killed five israelis and wounded dozens more but has yet to produce evidence. >> is there hard intelligence that says iran and hezbollah were involved? >> i would say, yes. enough information to accuse
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them. >> do you believe more attacks are being planned? >> yes. i think iran is at the center. >> many bloodstream the bulgaria bombing and similar attacks against israelis in four different cities are part of a tit for tat over a killing of iranian nuclear scientist, which iran blames on israel. he said israel would not standby while the citizens are targeted. >> it seems as if you and israel and iran are in the shat doe wear. that israel is in a shadow war with iran and the proxies. >> it's not threatening iran. iran is threatening israel. it's not a war. it's a one-sided attack. >> if you retaliate, mr. president, aren't you prepared for the wave of terror that could hit israeli citizens all over the world? you can't protect every israeli tourist in every israeli city in the world?
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>> this could kill and affect many other israelis. >> this is the right and the must of our people. everybody. >> as firm as he was in the interview with me, he said iran is a an international problem and called on the international community, particularly the united states to stop it. >> lisa, thank you very much. the alleged colorado shooter makes a bizarre appearance in court. cnn speaks with the survivors of the theater massacres. james holmes' red hair and sad expressions are all an act. and a safe exit offered to a serious president comes as fierce collapses erupt in two major cities. cnn is inside syria with a firsthand look. building pass, corporate card, verizon 4g lte phone.
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a lot of dramatic developments happening in the aftermath of the shooting in aurora, colorado. we have new information coming in. standby. we'll go back live. in the meantime, a deadly storm in china takes a heavy toll. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and other top stories in "the situation room." what's going on? >> wolf, at least 37 people are dead from heavy flooding in beijing. the torrential downpour happened for ten hours. officials say almost two million people were affected by the rainstorm and the economic losses are exceeded $1.5 billion. they call it the heaviest rain in six decades. and elton john visited the
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aids memorial quilt in washington. he was also a speaker at the 19th international aids conference, saying the battle needs more than money and medicine. elton john called for more tolerance and an end to the shame and stigma some patients encounter. and mariah carey will be a judge on "american idol." fox called carey the real deal. her role as an i judge has been speculation for weeks now. earlier jennifer lopez and steven tyler announced they were leaving the show. not the ordinary skating rink. but the roller man met the challenge of going down the twisting road in china. take a look there. the 242-year-old designer used 34 wheel suit to reach speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. you see him there. he navigated 99 sharp turns to
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successfully reach the bottom. i think that falls under the category of don't try this at home, kids. all right, thank you. jack cafferty is here once again with the cafferty file. >> the question this hour in light of the colorado shootings, what kind of role should gun control play in the presidential campaign. ed says none. it would be ridiculous to make policy for the nations based on the act of one person. the government made drugs illegal. if somebody wants drugs, they can get them. keep gun owners law-abiding citizens and hope somebody has one the next time a lunatic pops up. matt writes, was it playing a role, no? to have it play a role now is to politicize a tragedy. a tragedy that would have happened regardless of the gun control laws. all he had on his record was a speeding ticket. cliff in new york writes it needs to be first question asked at each and every campaign appearance, press briefing, news conference and presidential debate. thomas writes gun control is not
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the problem. my opinion is the hollywood movie industry plays the biggest role when it glamourized violence, mayhem and drugs. i wonder how many fewer victims there would have been if one viewer in the theater would have carried a licensed weapon. susan says your right to own a gun is no greater than my right to go into a theater without fear of getting shot by a heavily armed psycho. both should come down hard on the side of greater gun control. and tommy says chicago stands out as a perfect example of how well gun laws really work. if you want to read more, go to cnn.com/caffertyfile. wolf? >> jack, thanks very much. let's get to more now on the huge gun control debate that's emerging in the aftermath of the mass shooting in aurora, colorado. our chief political correspondent candy crowley has this.
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>> there is an awful familiarity to the nation's reaction to the colorado killings, shock, anger, sadness and the gun control debate. >> i think this is really a congressional issue that has to be dealt with. should we reinstate the assault weapons ban? i think we should. >> this person, if we had -- if there were no asasault weapons available, if there were no this or that, this guy is going on the find something. he knows how to create a bomb. >> few expect more than words. >> we talk about this constantly, and absolutely nothing happens because many of the legislators, unfortunately, at the federal level, lack the courage to do anything. >> as an illinois state senator, barack obama had a record of supporting gun control. he favors an assault weapons ban. he won election despite the opposition of the national rifle association, the pro gun lobby that has sway and money to spend on the campaigns of like minded
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candidates. president obama has talked very little about gun control. in 2010 the brady campaign, the most prominent group advocating further gun restrictions, gave the president an "f" for leadership on the issue. mitt romney signed an assault weapons ban as governor. he opposes it now. and as of last april, almost anything else in the way of gun control. >> we need a president who will enforce current laws, not create new ones that only be to burden lawful gun owners. >> about the courage thing, congress passed a ten-year ban on more than a dozen kinds of assault weapons in 1994. months later the democrats lost the house majority. in 1999. >> the vice president votes in the affirmative and the amendment is agreed to. >> then vice president al gore broke a tie in the senate to pass a bill restricting gun show sales. gore lost his presidential bid for many reasons but by 2000, democrats had condition included that gun control was bad politics. in the past decade, three things
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have happened. democrats have recruited pro gun candidates in rural areas the south, and the interior west. the assault weapons ban expired and gun control has faded from the agenda. senator dianne feinstein sponsored the original assault weapons ban in 1994. >> there has been no action because there's been no outrage out there. people haven't rallied forward. >> she's right. even in the face of mass shootings, virginia tech in 2007, ft. hood 2009, tucson 2011, public support for gun control has dropped. sunday as the president flew to visit the grieving families of colorado, his spokesman told reporters the president believes steps can be taken under existing law to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them. candy crowley, cnn, washington. >> we'll have much more on the colorado shooting at the top of the hour. other news we're following including syria. the u.s. now con depping a brand-new announcement and a new warning coming from syria.
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official says president bashar al assad will be offered a safe exit if he leaves the country. aleppo and da pass cuss, ivan watson is inside syria. >> the syrian regime has lost this town. but the retreating army left a trail of destruction in its wake. this was home to one of the busiest markets in northwest
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syria, now a bombed out ghost town. this bullet riddled town is mostly deserted except for rebels and a if you shell shocked residents. this street was nicknamed the street of death because anybody who set foot on here was likely to be shot. it sits 20 miles from the commercial capital of aleppo. rebels captured it after a few weeks of fighting. they bled for this town. >> translator: my brother's a prisoner. they captured him during a battle here, this miter says. my cousin was killed by a sniper who shot him in the head. the troops left behind a mini graveyard of burned out armored vehicles and pro-regime graffiti with a terrifying warning. the words say either assad or we'll burn this city. rebels lead me into a ransacked municipal building regime troops used as a base. some of the government soldiers
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marked the walls proudly identifying themselves as men of the special operations unit. these are some of the snipers' nests they used to rain bullets on the town. residents tell horror stories of atrocities committed by government troops. they said they were punishing us because we fed and sheltered the anti-government demonstrators says this woman. they captured by 24-year-old son and ran a plow over his legs even though he was happened i capped she tells me. then they threw his body down the street. they shot him in the chest, in his head and his arm, the woman says. i hope bashar's mother loses her son one day. locals say government troops still shell daily from a base a few miles away. in this ruined town, there is anger and grief and fear.
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during our brief visit, we see a prisoner break free from some rebels. please don't kill me, he screams. for god's sake, please pardon me. rebels later tell us the man is a suspected looter who will be judged by a legal council. we never saw what happened to him. ivan watson, cnn, syria. cnn's arwa damon who has covered this war in syria throughout the entire process is joining us. you know, a lot of analysts think it's only a matter of time, probably not much time before bashar al assad has gone. now that the arab league said he can get safe passage to escape someplace presumably with his family, what does that say to you? >> at this is taken, there's absolutely no indication whatsoever that assad is going to actually take up that offer and if we look at things from
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the government's perspective, based on what they've been publicly saying, they most certainly continue to believe that they are in power. they're still making incredibly brazen statements like what we heard from the foreign ministry about the potential use of their chemical and biological weapons against any sort of foreign aggressor. and the government when we look at what's happening on the ground seems to have absolutely no intention whatsoever to really move or shift from this course that it has been on. so we're still at this stage, wolf, where we're just seeing or rather hearing a lot of rhetoric, but there is actually no action taking place that is going to somehow save what's left of syria right now. >> and arwa is going to be here tomorrow, as well. we're going to continue this conversation in the situation room. arwa damon is in washington just for a few -- for 48 hours, if you will. we're going to take advantage and pick her brain way she's here. thanks very, very hutch. >> happening now, dazed in
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court. a startling appearance and odd demore. the colorado theater massacre suspect in court. massive arsenal, a closer look at the deadly firepower. plus a huge fine and four-year bowl ban. the ncaa punishes penn state. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." he's the most notorious man in the united states of america right now. and today we got a first look at the 24-year-old suspect. the man suspected of carrying out the largest mass shooting in modern u.s. history. and take a look at this. james holmes' mugshot released just a little while ago by law enforcement authorities. cnn's ed lavandera begins our coverage this hour. very dramatic day in court. we got lots of information. set the scene for us tell us what we learned. >> reporter: we, it was a dramatic day from the sense that
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since the very moment that james holmes was taken into custody in the early morning hours of friday, authorities here in aurora had not released a mugshot of him him. this was the first time that the victims and victims' families got a chance to see james holmes. >> everybody, please be seated. james holmes didn't say a word during his first court appearances in colorado. so we're left trying to read body language. looking for any clues, signs of emotion, remorse, satisfaction. anything. >> you have a right to remain silent. >> but in just moments, it wasn't the shaggy orange hair with the red blood on top. it was the range of bebe which wouldering facial expression that captured everyone's attention. at times it seems like he struggled to keep his eyes open as the judge ordered him to have no contact with the hooting victims or their families, it wasn't clear that holmes was processing the words. staring blankly at something in front of him. holmes' face would then turn to looking confused. then his eyes would open wide,
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freeze briefly and his head would drop down. next week, prosecutors will begin detailing the criminal charges against holmes. prosecutors say the death penalty is a very real possibility. >> there's so much that victims have to take into account, and victims will be impacted by that decision in an enormous way for years if, if the death penalty is south. that's a very long process that impacts their lives for years. and so they will want to have and we will want to get their input before we make any kind of a decision on that. >> after the short court appearance, he left the courtroom in shackles seemingly an even bigger enigmaing to everyone trying to understand the mind of the suspected mass killer. wolf, there's been a great deal of speculation in the hours since james holmes appeared in this courtroom whether he may or may not have been under some type of medication. we've heard back from the sheriff's department the ones in charge of keeping him in the
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jail here in the aurora area. the person we spoke with said they didn't know if he was under medication and even if they did know, that would be something they could not share about him. >> so he remains in solitary confinement until next monday at least. that's when his next court appearance takes place. >> reporter: that is next monday. he'll be back in court again. that's when we expect to really get a sense of just the amount of charges and criminal charges that will be filed against him. prosecutors say they will begin to line that out next monday. >> ed, thank you. the appearance, listen to what one of the survivors told us. >> he has no right to come into court looking like he has a said fas. the look is not going to be believable. >> you think it's an act? >> yeah.
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he had this thought out very well. >> do you think the hair and this face, this is all part of this act? >> it's an act. we also heard just a little while ago from the suspect's family in san diego through an attorney. they released a statement saying their hearts go out to those involved in the tragedy and to their families and friends, but they took issue with abc news whose reporting implied that holmes' mother wasn't surprised by her son's alleged actions. the attorney read this statement. >> i was awakened by a call from a reporter from abc on july 20 about 5:45 in the morning. i did not note anything about a shooting in aurora at that time. he asked if i was arlene holmes. and if my son was james holmes. who lives in aurora, colorado. i answered yes, you have the right person. i was referring to myself.
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i asked him to tell me why he was calling, and he told me about a shooting in aurora. he asked for a comment. i told him i could not comment because i did in the know if the person he was talking about was my son. and i would feed need to find o >> the family is in a secret location right now not discussing their son publicly at this time. the story, we'll have a lot more on this story coming up. for those viewers who may have missed the court appearance, we're going to play a big portion of that in a little sense. >> that was so captivating. we were talking about that earlier. it was amazing to watch. >> we are following other news. sad news to also bring to you tonight. sally ride, the first american woman to fly into space, has died after a 17-month fight with pancreatic cancer.
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she was 61 years old. she made history when challenger blasted off from the kennedy space center on june 1th, 19 3. after she refired from nasa, she inspired girls to pursue careers in science and engineering. at least 14 people are dead and nine injured after a packed pickup truck veered off a texas highway. there were nearly two dozen people jammed in this white truck that we're showing you here when it crashed into two trees yesterday. the victims were from honduras, guatemala and mexico and probably were illegal immigrants. no word yet on what caused the crash however. and jury selection is under way in the murder trial of drew peterson. that name ring a bell? he is the former illinois policeman accused of killing his third wife and also the lead suspect in the disappearance of his fourth wife. opening statements are scheduled for next week. back in 2004, the body of drew peterson's third wife, kathleen
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savio was ruled an accident after his fourth wife stacy peterson disappeared, savio's body was exhumed and her death ruled a homicide. listen up if you have any ground beef in your freezer. cargill is recalling nearly 30,000 pounds of it afraid it might be contaminated with salmonella. the government says the meat is being investigated in connection with a seven-state outbreak across the feast. it was produced may 25th. so it is past the use by date. in case it's stashed in your freezer, all recalled meat should be stamped with the number 9400. 33 people were involved with this. throw it out if it's in the freezer. >> definitely get rid of it quickly. thanks very much, kate. >> a school seemingly on the defensive. we have details next what the university of colorado is and isn't saying about the former student who is now the suspect in the movie theater massacre. plus, the crimes were stunning. so is the punishment.
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at 37 past the hour, we'll have details of the unprecedented price that penn state university will pay for the child sex abuse scandal. according to ford, the works fuel saver package could literally pay for itself. jim twitchel is this true? yes it's true. how is this possible? proper tire inflation, by using proper grades of oil, your car runs more efficiently, saves gas. you could be doing this right now? yes i could, mike. i'm slowing you down? yes you are. my bad. the works fuel saver package. just $29.95 or less after rebate. only at your ford dealer. so, to sum up, you take care of that, you take care of these, you save a bunch of this. that works. this is new york state. we built the first railway, the first trade route to the west, the greatest empires. then, some said, we lost our edge. well today, there's a new new york state. one that's working to attract businesses and create jobs. a place where innovation meets determination...
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for an exclusive $10 coupon. good through august 5th. [ charles ] my name is charles himple, i'm a red lobster grill master and i sea food differently. there was a very dramatic moment in fact ten minutes or so, drew, when he walked into the courtroom today, james holmes, the 24-year-old suspect in the largest the most sweeping mass shooting in modern american history showed up. there you see some pictures of him during various times during the court appearance. for those of you who missed what was going on, i want to play this excerpt, watch it, we'll discuss it here in "the situation room". >> mr. holmes, this matter comes on for what we call an initial visement follow rule five. deputy, if you would piece step back. you have a right to remain silent. if you make any statements they can be used against you. you have a right to be
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represented by an attorney. if you could not afford one, under statutory guidelines one will be appointed to represent you. any claim you make must be voluntary. not the result of undue coercion. technically you have a right to be advised of the charges. you have a right to be advised of the charges. the duty judge to make a preliminary determination of probable cause to believe you committed the offense of first-degree murder which is a class one felony under colorado law. ordinarily individuals are entitled to bail. given the nature of the charges, you are currently being held on a no bond hold. you also have a right to have a jury trial. and preliminary hearing to determine whether it was probable cause to believe that you're the person that committed the offense. it is the order of the court you shall not harass, molest, intimidate, retaliate against or tamper with any witness to or victim of the actions are you charged with committing. shall rake indicate the home of
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the victim, stay away from the home of the victims and stay away from any other location the victims are likely to be found. you shall refrain from contacting directly or indirectly communicating with the victims. shall shall not possess or control firearm or other weapon, shall not possess alcoholic beverages or controlled substances and it is the further order of the court you are not to committee any new offenses. miss pearson, if you would approa approach, please. just sign the mandatory protection order. if you would tender a copy 0 mr. holmes and acknowledge his receipt on the record. . >> thank you. >> looks like he's having trouble keeping his eyes open. drew griffin is joining us right now in aurora. that was very, very strange, that entire court appearance.
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drew, you're on the scene for us. tell us what's going on. because there are so many questions that were raised by that brief court appearance. questions we still don't have answers to. >> reporter: are yeah, and the questions which led us to university officials where this person went to school up until june 10th when he with drew from that mek campus not far from here, wolf. for the first time finally university officials came and met the press today. to answer some questions. they didn't give a lot of answers though. but i want to tell you, wolf, about the program he was in. just six students are allowed into this program each year. according to the dean, faculty monitors are assigned to each one of these very bright, very gifted students who monitor them not just weekly but sometimes daily. so the obvious interaction that takes place is fairly obvious as they are describing it and it's very unusual, highly unusual according to the dean there, barry schurr that anybody would
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drop out. he described what would happen if somebody even attempted to drop out of the program. listen. >> when a student decides to withdraw, there's a form that they need to complete and on it, they first have to sign off that this is a voluntary withdrawal from their perspective. they then get program directors to sign off on it. and then at the last signature that's required is from the dean's office before it goes to the renl starr. and that paperwork was in process, was in progress. they require the signature of each of the people on that form. the pertinent information that i think you're asking is his reason for leaving the program. and that is undefined. >> very unusual that anybody, wolf should leave the program. what barry shur also said there's a meeting, they sit
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down, the program director, the student, other faculty members to try to in shorthand rescue this student from dropping out. did that happen in this case? the school is absolutely silent on this. and the actual chancellor of the school, a guy by the name of don elleman got very defensive when asked about that especially when it relates to the victims' families who want to know if there was a change in behavior. he said they're going to, the families, going to get something when this goes to court. we are not going to try this in the public. this is just part of the investigation. that's a simple fact. so if i guess what i'm trying to say to you, wolf, and your viewers is, there must have been some intensive interaction at this school involved with this student in that last month when he decided that he was going to withdraw, just based on the fact that it's such a small kind of class, and a highly specialized program he was in. >> just to be precise, he
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voluntary dropped out as you say on june 10th. he didn't flunk out. they didn't kick him out. he was the one who went to school officials and said i want to drop out. is that the information you're getting in. >> here is the specifics. he took oral exams which they do after the first year. this was the first year of this program. shortly after those oral exams, james holmes notified the school he was withdrawing. that's i guess would be technically different than dropping out. it was at that moment that the policies in general should have kicked in that there would have been some kind of intervention, but even before that, wolf, by the school's own admission from day one of this program, these students are linked up with faculty monitors and a team to guide them through this highly specialized neuroscience program. >> and we don't know how he did on those oral examinations, if he passed, if he failed. the school is not releasing those kinds of details?
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>> the school would not release those details. they would not release and tried delicately not to release any details about this particular student. even his behavior. any kind of observations that the faculty may have witnessed. they wouldn't release anything about him. and defensively, the chancellor is saying this is part of the investigation and they are cooperating. >> drew, we'll stay in close touch with you. drew griffin on the scene for us, kate, you know the more we learn about this, the weirder and weirder it becomes. but it's so tragic and so sad what happened. >> it's so tragic, so sad and obviously the focus is on the investigation. in trying to answer the big question of why and motive. but as we can tell, seems more questions and answers at this point. i guess that is to be expected. we'll talk to experts later on this hour about the case, about james holmes, what are the next steps involving this investigationing? of course, we'll be following very closely the shooting in
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much more coming up on the colorado shooting. the fallout. anderson cooper is on the scene tore us. he'll be speaking with us this hour. but let's check back with kate with some of the other important stories we're following. >> big important stories that we're following right now. first to syria, a senior white house officials are regularly holding high level meetings to discuss what would happen in
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syria after president bashar al assad and the arab league says it will offer him a safe exit if he steps down quickly and leaves the country. this comes as fighting rages on in the streets of syria and admission from the syrian government. officials say they have chemical or biological weapons but say they would never be used against syrian citizens, just foreign attackers. a disturbing rise in traffic diegos this year. the national traffic highway safety commission says more than 7600 people were killed in the first three months of this year, an increase of more than 13% from 2011. a spokesman says it is too early to speculate on what's behind the rise. you can be sure they're look ago into that. also, airline flight attend"s will soon be able to breeze through airline security. the tsa says they will be allows to display credentials instead of undergoing physical screening although sill subject to random certainlies.
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it's helped it will help relieve congestion at airport security checkpoints. i was surprised when i heard they weren't. >> why there's such a rise in traffic deaths? >> texting, people on cell phones, people doing stuff they shouldn't be doing. you drive around, you see everybody to you days. >> i think it's one of the worst things people can do. one the things they're looking into to is the warmer winter contributed to that because more people are on the road and driving. but again, nothing confirmed yet. >> just my guess. >> we'll look into it. >> it's a serious subject.how will the case against the colorado theater massacre suspect unfold? we're going to go inside the legal proceeding with a criminal defense attorney, a former prosecutor. stand by. and coming up at 36 after the hour, an unprecedented punishment for penn state university for the child sex abuse scandal. we have details of the high price the university will now pay. >> the penn state case has provoke ared -- [ annie ] this is the story of a girl named annie
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the victims of this horrendous mass shooting. our own anderson cooper is on the scene for us. anderson, you were there friday. give us a little feeling of what's going on today, what's the same, what's different? >> well, certainly a lot of news groups have been focusing on the appearance in court of the suspect and also the recent release of his mugshot. i think for a lot of people here, the focus is squarely on the victims on the survivors and those who are still hospitalized. you just saw the memorial which has been growing since friday when i was here friday night, it was a few candles. it was maybe just a few feet long. it's now taking up a much larger area and become a real destination point for people from all around who just want to stop by. it's a few blocks from the theater, stop by and a respects to the 1 who lost their lives and so many of the others whose lives were forever changed. we'll focus tonight on the victims and talk to the father
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of a man by the name of alex teves, also we'll talk to his girlfriend. alex shielded his girlfriend with his own body and was killed doing just that. as a number of other people were, as well. we'll try to talk to as many family members to want to talk to us about their loved ones, about what they are going through and about the lives that their loved ones lived, would elf. >> did these family members want to watch that proceeding in the courtroom today? did they want to see the suspect's face or did they just turn off the tv, if you will? >> i think it really depends on how talk to. i know alex teves father came here and was in the courtroom. we'll talk to him about that decision. i've talked to other relatives to don't want to even hear the name of the suspect mentioned. that's a sentiment widely felt here. president obama talked about it yesterday when he was visiting here. we're not even going to be mentioning the suspect's name on my program.
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i really want to focus on trying to focus on the names of the victims and have those be the names that people remember months and years from now, not as so often in the past the killer's names. but some people want to learn as many details as they can about who did this and why and others don't want to hear this person's name mentioned. >> he anderson will be live 8:00 p.m. eastern. he's on the scene for us in colorado. thank you very much. >> today, as you know, we got our first look at the young man accused of the colorado theater massacre. kate, we've been talking about this throughout the hour. >> that's absolutely right. we're talking about to remind viewers is 70 people shot, 1 people killed and this is the suspect, we've been showing you images of him. 24-year-old james holmes with bright orange and red hair that you really can't miss as well as wearing a maroon jump suit he made odd expressions to say the least during his first court appearance. sometimes appearing dazed,
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sometimes closing his eyes not even seeming like he was paying attention to the proceedings and he didn't say a thing. watch this. >> it is the order of the court you shall not harass, molest, intimidate, retaliate against or tamper with any witness to or victim of the acts you are charged with committing. shall vacate the home of the victim, stay away from the home of the victims and stay away from any other location the victims are likely to be found. you shall refrain from contacting directly or indirectly communicating with the victims. shall not possess or control firearm or other weapon, shall not possess alcohol befr about ands or controlled substances. and as it is the further order of the court you are not to committee any new offenses. >> a lot to discuss with famed criminal defense attorney thomas mesereau. and cn legal contributor paul callen, the former new york city homicide prosecutor. tom, what did you think of that initial appearance by the suspect in court today?
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>> what he was thinking or what he was doing. all we can do is speculate. could he have been medicated. he could have been exhausted or completely insane. he may not even know where he is. we just don't know. you can't judge him by his appearance alone. >> is that normal in situation like this for law enforcement authorities he's in solitary confinement in a jail to give him medication? how does that work? >> well, it's certainly not abnormal that he's in solitary confinement. he's the kind of prisoner that they're going to fear others will want to harm so they can obtain celebrity status in the jail. it's very typical this person is isolated. he may have to be isolated because he could be a threat to other people given his degree of insanity if that exists. he also could be medicated. >> on the medication question, you know, i think it would be highly unusual if he was medicated by law enforcement
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authorities. you know, it would be one thing if he was a dike and needed insulin. but you're talking about psychotropic medications that would have this kind of affect on him in court. i doubt they would let him take such medications because it would interfere with his ability to understand what was going on in court. i doubt that was a medication induced performance that we saw in court today. i think meds probably had very little to do with it. >> paul, i wanted to get your perspective is an a former prosecutor. we had the district attorney out there today saying there's no quote up quote, no such thing as a slam-dunk case. how difficult from your perspective do you think it is going to be to prosecute this case? >> so many people watching kind of how this has unfolded from home would almost think it is a slam-dunk case. >> as cases go, it is a slam-dunk case. lawyers say that. there's no such thing as a slam-dunk case. the reason is because, and i'm sure tom will confirm this, anybody who tries a lot of cases uh-oh occasionally lose a case
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you should win and win a case you expect to lose. that does happen. but there are some cases where the evidence is so overwhelming it would be hard to imagine a loss. of course, we don't know the details that law enforcement authorities have accumulated against the suspect here. but it certainly looks like a slam-dunk case to me. >> let me bring tom back into this conversation. slam-dunkize going to be convicted as far as something is concerned. but there's a difference between homicide, the death sentence, for example, being executed supposed to serving the rest of his life in a mental institution if there's a successful insanity plea. >> practically speaking, he's never going to leave custody. okay? he's either going to dionne death row or die in a mental institution, probably shut up with thorazine or other powerful drug. neither one is a very good prospect for living the rest of your life. his defense attorneys are pledged to protect him as best they can.
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i think you'll find very skilled experienced lawyers when it comes to death penalty representati representation. they'll put together a case that this man is completely insane. they'll probably start by challenging his competency to even stand trial under the theory that he's so gone, he can't even cooperate with lawyers and that will go through a lot of various proceedings and tests. but this man's prospects are not good either way. the only question is, will he be executed. >> let's play you guys a sound bite from a press conference today from the attorney representing the suspect's family and then we'll talk a little bit about it. listen to this. >> the family wants to reiterate that their hears go out to the victims and their families. the holmes family would like to maintain their privacy. so at this time, we will not be discussing james or his relationship to the family. >> now, tom, would you be advising ta last bit caught my
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attention. would you advise the family to kind of distance themselves from james at this point? >> well, i don't know if you can do that. they are the parents. >> right. >> you know, who knows what their current mental and emotional state is. they're probably shifting between disbelief and denial to just terror. i mean, they're in a horrible position that they didn't create. but i think the best they can do is just lay low and be as quiet and silent as they can, which is not going to be easy in this case. >> it's going to be at least a year we're told by law enforcement in colorado, paul, before an actual trial might begin. is that routine, excessive? what do you think? >> no, as a matter of fact, i think that's optimistic that this case would go to trial in a year. if we start out with the issue of a competency hearing, if he for instance is found incompetent to stand trial, which happens a lot of times where you have an insane defendant. he goes to a mental hospital and then he's brought back
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subsequently when he's able to understand what's going on. so that could delay the trial. then you have preparation for this case. i mean, with the huge number of victims, the number, the amount of forensic evidence, the fact by the way that you could even see federal authorities getting involved because remember not only did he soot up that movie theater and kill all of those people allegedly, but the booby-trapped apartment could have destroyed that entire apartment building and created another whole class of victims and he could be charged with that, as well. this is an extraordinarily complex case, and it's going to take a long time to bring it to trial. >> paul callen, stand by for a moment. tom mesereau stand by for a moment, as well. kate has new video. >> we're getting in some video we want to show all our viewers. this is some video that abc news has been showing. its an a clip of james holmes during the time that he was speaking at a camp. if we can roll that video, i want to make sure our viewers can see it. but this is video of him
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speaking. i believe this is a science camp in 2006. correct me if i'm wrong here. what's most striking about -- i think we're going to listen to a little bit of it. listen to this. >> of over the course of the summer, i've been working with temp pore ral illusion that an you los you to change the past. >> what's most striking about that is the normal demeanor we see of him years ago, but kind of juxtapose that from the man, the boy we saw in the courtroom today. it's startling stuff. >> very quickly to both of the attorneys. paul to you first. you see that video. what if any role does all of ha stuff play in a case like this? >> well, the -- his past and the good things or successes he's had in prior life of course, will be used in a death penalty case during the sentencing portion of the trial. to convince a jury not to put him to death. so i mean, that's what where we'll see that. with respect to the mental illness issues if there's an
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insanity defense, prosecutors will rely on that normalcy to show that he was capable of planning and understood the difference between right and wrong and doesn't deserve the benefit of an insanity finding. >> a final thought from you, tom? >> i agree with everything paul just said. i think the defense would take information like this and say look, this person was normal at one point. he absolutely you snapped. he was governed by delusion, paranoia, extreme mental illness. he couldn't tell right from wrong. he thought the world was conspiring against him. they will build a portrait of someone who is completely insane and shouldn't be executed. >> tom and paul, we'll continue this of conversation.thanks to both of you for joining us today. we'll have more on what's going on in aurora, colorado this hour. also, banned from the bowls. stripped of scholarships, plus a massive fine. that's not all. details of the ncaa's punishment against penn state university, that's coming up.
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the ncaa slapped penn state university's football program today. the university will be fined $60 million over five years. the governor just released a statement saying he wants assurances no taxpayer dollars will be used. the team is banned from playing bowl games for four years. the program will lose 208 football scholarships a year for four years and the winningest coach in major college football history will be stripped of all of his wins after 1998. that bumps lodge time coach joe paterno from number one to 12 on the wins list. >> no matter what we do here today, there is no action we can
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take that will remove their pain and anguish. but what we can do is impose sanctions that both reflect the magnitude of these terrible acts and that are, and that also insure that penn state will rebuild an athletic culture that went horribly awry. >> and cnn contributor sarah ganim is joining us now from harrisburg. sarah, so far, what's been the reaction to these decisions from the victims' families? >> well, i've heard from a lot of victim attorneys today, wolf, and mixed reactions. one attorney told me that they were okay with the sanctions but were upset that they didn't directly compensate the victims of jerry sandusky. another one told me that he was happy that it seemed severe enough and yet another said you know, why weren't we consulted in this process. so it's really across the board, there are advocate groups who have come out in support of the
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ncaa's decision and those who have come out against saying it wasn't harsh enough. it's a mixed reaction, almost a reflection of the reaction of the community. >> what about from joepa trn know -- paterno's family? >> they issued a statement again today denouncing the freeh report saying it was biased and incomplete and that the ncaa is just jumping on the bandwagon and accepting that report without giving joe paterno his due process. now, they said the taking away of the wins, the 111 wins that are now vacated was defaming the coach. they called him a coach, an educator and a contributory penn state. that this defames his legacy. they've been in support of their father and husband from the beginning but in the last couple of weeks with the statue coming koun, with these sanctions, really their stams have become more and more harsh and really more on the defensive more
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coming out against penn state and its decisions and today against the ncaa. >> and penn state university, the new leadership there, the new university president, the board of rustees, i take it they're going to accept this punishment and not going to appeal it. is that right? >> that's right. actually, the president signed a consent form. so he actually agreed to this after the sanctions were decided by the ncaa executive board. he signed a consent to them. he put out a statement to the students this morning, president eriksson saying look, we can survive a couple of years of bad football. what we need to focus on is becoming a leader in ethics and integrity and going forward doing the right thing. bill o'brien, who was named the head coach after joe paterno was fired, put out a few paragraphs basically saying loo can, i'm going to stick with penn state, with my team and i have all the faith in my athletes that i had before. let's move forward. now, it's interesting that bill o'brien would say that,
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especially because this really, these sanctions really affect his compensation. a lot of his contract was dependent on going to a bowl game, going to the championship games. high percentage of his salary and his bonuses are dependent on those things. so he really suffers a lot from this. i found it very interesting the length of the probation is five years. that's the exact length of his contract. >> sara ganim, thanks for your reporting. >> a massive arsenal gathered in only a few months. more details emerging about the firepower of the colorado massacre suspect had. ♪ [ male announcer ] ok, so you're no marathon man. but thanks to the htc one x from at&t, with its built in beats audio,
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thousands of rounds of ammunition and the kind of
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firepower normally used by police. joe johns takes a closer look at the weapons that the suspect in colorado gathered. >> reporter: these are the types of gun and ammo used by james holmes. he did it in just a matter of months through local gun stores as well as online. we asked an instructor at a northern virginia gun store to walk us through the weapons and their financial firepower. the 12 gauge shotgun -- >> this is an eight-shot basically military and police shotgun. capable of carrying 3 inch and 3.75-inch -- >> reporter: pump action? >> yes. >> reporter: the or-15, which in this case would have also had a drum capable of holding 100 rounds. you've got 100 rounds in there. how long does it take to get 100 rounds off, say? >> 30 seconds. >> reporter: that fast? >> uh-huh. >> reporter: and two 40
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millimeter glock handguns. how many do they hold? >> 16. >> reporter: you can get off 16 pretty fast with that? >> sure. >> reporter: whatever you think of the guns, it's also the amount of ammunition the shooter was able to buy that's got gun control advocates fired up, talking about 3,000 rounds for the or-15. another 3,000 rounds for the glock and over 300 shotgun shells. that would be more than six cases of total ammunition, six times what you see here on the counter. in fact, small gun stores like this one don't keep that much ammo on premises. though there is demand from some customers to buy in bulk. >> competition shooters, very common. they go -- burn through a lot of ammunition in practice and in competition. they would buy it in the thousands. >> reporter: where is it easy to get a lot of bullets? online. in fact, there are websites where you can purchase ammo 1,000 rounds at a time. there's no federal id or background check required for purchasing ammunition, which gun
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control advocates see as a problem. >> by and large, across our nation, there's very limited -- there are very few restrictions on the sale of ammunition. >> reporter: a few states and even a few local governments do have laws controlling the sale of ammunition, though gun control advocates say on their scorecard, colorado is one of the most permissive states in the country. >> it's appallingly low. on our state's scorecard, colorado gets a score of 15, putting them near the bottom. >> reporter: on that, the national rifle association declined to comment today, wolf. >> joe, thanks very much. a boat gets caught in the middle of a glacier tsunami. amazing video you don't want to miss coming up next. sorry, my liege. honestly. our sales have increased by 20%. what is this mystical device i see before me? it's an ultrabook. he signed the purchase order.
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a peaceful boat ride to see glaciers turned terrifying. here's jeanne moos's with the video. >> reporter: he wasn't exactly as cool as ice, but at least there were no expletives to delete when this happened. >> oh -- >> reporter: off the coast of greenland, part of a glacier collapsed, sending a tsunami directly at this motor boat. and what did he say? >> wow! >> reporter: just about every five seconds, he said it. >> wow! >> reporter: until the wave hit. the boat was sideways toward the glacier. and when his uncle saw the wave coming, he gunned it out of there. no one was hurt, not he, not the australian tourists they were taking sight-seeing. lest you think the only language he speaks is "wow" -- >> i've never been this close to
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dying. never been this close to dying before. >> reporter: the thing that seemed to impress people was the way the shooter held the camera steady and stayed focused instead of ducking and covering. but he says that's only because he was looking in his view finder. >> the screen is pretty small. on this screen, the waves looked really, really, really small. >> reporter: he's a 23-year-old mechanical engineering student. said the ice was cracking for about four minutes before the collapse. and for some reason -- >> none of us was actually scared. >> reporter: the boat wasn't damaged until later when they hit a piece of ice under water on their way home that damaged the steering. a relative had to come retrieve them. no wonder someone posted "is this the prequel to titanic"? >> iceberg, dead ahead! >> reporter: tsunami ahe, but thankfully he's not dead, but "wow" is a victim of overkill.
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jeanne moos, cnn, new york. >> wow! >> took the word right out of my mouth. >> thanks for watching. "erin burnett outfront" starts right now. hello, everyone. i'm don lemon in aurora, colorado, in for erin burnett tonight who is on assignment in africa. "outfront" tonight, our first glimpse of a suspected mass murderer, james holmes. the man suspected of killing 12 people and wounding 58 others in a packed movie theater on friday appeared in court today, with bright red hair and dramatic facial expressions, he looked like he was out of it at times. he looked blankly up and down and staring into space at times. and it looked like a man who was out of it. for the first time, we're hearing about this neuroscience student. we're about to hear his voice for the first time. this is holmes speaking at a science camp in san diego from 2006. he's 18 years old in this video
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obtained by abc news. and here he talks about a shared interest with a mentor. >> he also studied subject ift experience, which is what take place inside the mind as opposed to the external world. i'm carrying on his work in subjective experience. >> and in jail a just-released inmate told the new york daily news he saw holmes spitting at guar guards. tonight he's in suicide watch and in solitary confinement. and we heard from the suspect's families. their lawyer saying they did not want to address their relationship with their son but they do stand by him. investigators are scouring holmes' apartment after a robot detonated an mroet explosive over the weekend. while the evidence may seem overwhelming and there are no other suspects in this case that we know of, the d.a. says she's not taking anything for granted.

tv
The Situation Room
CNN July 23, 2012 4:00pm-7:00pm EDT

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Colorado 57, Us 48, James Holmes 31, Holmes 27, Syria 15, Abc 13, America 12, Cnn 11, Israel 11, Washington 11, Penn 10, Penn State University 10, Arlene Holmes 9, Iran 8, Lisa 6, Hajimemashite 6, Joe Paterno 6, U.s. 5, Lisa Sylvester 5, Paris 4
Network CNN
Duration 03:00:00
Scanned in Annapolis, MD, USA
Source Comcast Cable
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Pixel width 720
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